Chick at high welfare chicken farm. Credit: Valerie Kuypers

The Pecking Order

The Pecking Order annually audits and scores leading fast-food giants on their commitments to chicken welfare in their supply chains.

The questionable conditions in which chickens are raised for meat are rightly bringing increased scrutiny to food retailers. Globally, approximately 60 billion chickens undergo severe suffering, compelled to reach slaughter weight within a mere 40 days, leading to significant strain. These birds endure harsh confinement in overcrowded sheds with inadequate lighting. Previously concealed, these practices are now gaining attention, mirroring the increased awareness surrounding the plight of caged egg-laying hens.

Change for Chickens

The Pecking Order follows on from our Change for Chickens campaign which garnered support from over half a million people in ten countries to call on KFC and demand better lives for these animals within their supply chains.

This years report

For 2023 we assessed European fast-food restaurants and food service companies on their chicken welfare standards, including well-known brands such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Starbucks. Find out how they scored.

High welfare chicken farm. Credit: Valerie Kuypers

The Pecking Order 2023

Discover previous reports

Chicken in a high welfare farm

The Pecking Order 2022

High welfare chicken farm. Credit: Valerie Kuypers

The Pecking Order 2021

Windstreek high welfare chicken farm, Netherlands

The Pecking Order 2020

Dominos chicken

The Pecking Order 2019

Frequently asked questions

How do the scores work?

The Pecking Order scoring criteria are based on the European Chicken Committment (ECC), a campaign aimed at reducing the suffering of meat chickens in the poultry fattening industry. Score grades range from 'very poor' to 'leading'.

How long has The Pecking Order been going?

TPO began in 2018 as an assessment of how global fast-food brands were dealing with chicken welfare throughout their supply chains, the first report was published in 2019. Since then, the project has evolved into a more localised review of the progress the companies are making towards improving chicken welfare.

How many chickens are killed each year for fast-food chains?

Over 7 billion broiler chickens are slaughtered annually in the European Union to meet the ever growing needs of the fast-food industry.